Rahul Singha
Study Abroad Expert
Updated on Feb 3, 2022 03:03 IST

TOEFL Exam 2022: The TOEFL iBT test monitors the candidates’ ability to understand the English language at the university level. The four sections on which the candidate’s ability is judged are reading, writing, listening, and speaking. While preparing for the test, first of all, candidates should understand the format of the test, the result and the scoring system of the test. ETS, the conducting body of the TOEFL exam also provides free and paid study material, which is easily available. Check out Top TOEFL Prep Tips for the exam.

Top TOEFL Reading Tips

  • Read regularly university textbooks or other materials that cover a variety of subject areas (e.g., sciences, social sciences, arts, business, etc.) and are written in an academic style. A wide variety of academic texts are available on the Internet as well as in magazines and journals.
  • Practice skimming a passage to get a general impression of the main idea, instead of carefully reading each word and each sentence.
  • After skimming a passage, read it again more carefully and write down the main idea, major points, and important facts.
  • Practice frequently to increase the reading rate and fluency.
  • Choose some unfamiliar words in the passage and guess the meaning from the context (surrounding sentences). Then, look them up to determine their meaning.
  • Underline all pronouns (e.g., he, him, they, them, etc.) and identify the nouns to which they refer in the passage.
  • Practice making inferences and drawing conclusions based on what is implied in the passage as a whole.
  • Identify the passage type (e.g., classifi cation, cause/effect, compare/contrast, problem/solution, description, narration, etc.) and its organization.
  • Create an outline of the passage to distinguish between major and minor points.
  • Create an oral or written summary of the passage using the charts and outlines.
  • Paraphrase individual sentences in a passage. Then, paraphrase entire paragraphs.

Top TOEFL Listening Tips

  • Increase vocabulary.
  • Focus on the content and flow of spoken material while listening. Create an outline of the information discussed while listening. Write main ideas, major points, and important details. Use the outline to write a summary after listening. Gradually increase the amount of presentation used to write the summary.
  • Listen for the signal words that indicate the introduction, major steps or ideas, examples, and the conclusion or summary.
  • Listen for words that show connections and relationships between ideas. Identify the relationships between ideas: cause/effect, compare/contrast, and steps in a process.
  • Anticipate what a person is going to say as a way to stay focused. Listen to recorded material and stop the recording at various points. Predict what information or idea will be expressed next.
  • Try to assess the purpose of the speech or conversation - an apology, complaint, suggestion
  • Notice if the language is formal or casual. Pay special attention to the speaker's tone of voice. Is the speaker’s voice calm or emotional? What is the speaker's degree of certainty about the information he/she is presenting
  • Make note of changes in topic or digressions.
  • Observe the way stress and intonation patterns are used to convey meaning.

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Top TOEFL Speaking Tips

  • Increase vocabulary and learn to use idiomatic speech appropriately.
  • Learn grammatical structures and use them naturally when speaking.
  • Work on pronunciation, including word stress, intonation patterns, and pauses. (several products and websites can help you develop pronunciation skills.)
  • Take some time to think about what you’re going to say before you speak. Write down a few keywords and ideas, but do not attempt to write down exactly what you are going to say. (Raters will be able to detect responses that are read and give them a lower rating.)
  • Use signal words and expressions to introduce new information or ideas, connect ideas, and mark important words or ideas. This will help the listener easily follow what you are saying. (For example, “on the one hand…,” “but on the other hand…,” “what that means is…,” “The first reason is…,” “another difference is…”)
  • Make a list of familiar topics, and practice speaking about them. Practice giving one-minute responses to topics.
  • Describe a familiar place or recount a personal experience.
  • Later, state an opinion or a preference and present clear, detailed reasons for it.
  • Make a recommendation and explain why it is the best way to proceed.
  • Find a textbook that includes questions about the material at the end of chapters, and practice answering the questions orally.
  • Read a short article (100–200 words). Make an outline that includes only the major points of the article. Use the outline to orally summarize the information.
  • Find listening and reading material on the same topic covered by the article. The material can contain similar or different views. Take notes or create outlines on the listening and reading of the material
    • Orally summarize the information in both the written and spoken materials using different words and grammatical structures.
    • Orally synthesize the material by combining the information from the reading and listening materials and explaining how they relate.
    • State an opinion about the ideas and information presented in the reading and listening material and explain how they relate.
    • If the reading and/or listening material describes a problem, suggest and explain a solution to the problem.
  • Make recordings of your speeches and evaluate them on the following parameters
    • Clarity of the speech
    • Grammatical correctness of the speech
    • Correct Usage of words
    • Clear and appropriate organization of ideas
    • Speed of the speech
    • Number of pauses in between

Top TOEFL Writing Tips

  • Increase vocabulary and knowledge of idiomatic speech so you can use it appropriately.
  • Learn grammatical structures so well that you can use them naturally when writing.
  • Learn the conventions of spelling, punctuation, and layout (e.g., paragraph creation).
  • Find a textbook that includes questions about the material at the end of chapters and practise writing answers to the questions.
  • Read an article that is about 300–400 words long. Make an outline that includes the major points and important details of the article. Use the outline to write a summary of the information and ideas. Summaries should be brief and communicate only the major points and important details. Be sure to paraphrase using different words and grammatical structures.
  • Find listening and reading material on a single topic on the Internet or in the library. The material can provide similar or different views. Take notes on the written and spoken portions, and do the following:
    • Summarize the information and ideas in both the written and spoken portions.
    • Synthesize the information and discuss how the reading and listening materials relate. Explain how the ideas expressed are similar, how one idea expands upon another, or how the ideas are different or contradict each other.
  • Paraphrasing involves restating something from the source material in one’s own words.
  • Learn to find synonyms with ease. Pick 10 to 15 words or phrases in a reading passage and quickly think of synonyms without looking them up in a dictionary or thesaurus.
  • Write a paraphrase of a reading passage using only your notes. If you haven’t taken notes, write the paraphrase without looking at the original text. Then check the paraphrase with the original passage to make sure that it is factually accurate and that you have used different words and grammatical structures.
  • Make a list of familiar topics and practise writing about them. For each topic state an opinion or a preference and then support it with evidence. Practice planning and writing at least one essay for each topic. Be sure to take 30 minutes to plan, write, and revise each essay. Think about and list all ideas related to a topic or task before writing.
  • Identify one main idea and some major points to support that idea, and plan how to communicate them (by creating, for example, an outline to organize ideas).
  • Create a focused thesis statement and use it to develop the ideas presented in the essay. Develop the essay by using appropriate explanation and detail.
  • Express information in an organized manner, displaying the unity of thought and coherence.
  • Use signal words and phrases, such as “on the one hand” or “in conclusion,” to create a clear structure for your response.
About the Author
Written by
Rahul Singha
Study Abroad Expert

Rahul Singha is a seasoned editor with Shiksha Study Abroad, specializing in overseas education. With over 8 years of domain experience, he has made a significant impact in contributing to the study abroad industry ... Read Full Bio

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6 years ago

very good information and tips...

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Rahul SinghaStudy Abroad Expert

a year ago

Your feedback has been noted.


Rahul SinghaStudy Abroad Expert

a year ago

Thank you for your feedback.

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